24 August 2019
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538 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     530 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

28.05.2019

Regarding the situation with the glorification of Nazism and the spread of Neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (report of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation regarding the situation in Great Britain)

In the first part of the XX century, the UK political landscape saw the emergence of the far-right trends that were underpinned by some internal and external factors.

The increasing popularity of the far-right ideas in the UK was directly corroborated by the UK government, which deemed them as a mean to combat the spreading of Marxism in Europe. The fascist ideology flourished in the country in the 1930s when a number of new organizations, including anti-Semitic ones, emerged. The British Union of Fascists formed in 1932 turned out to be the most prominent.

The Second World War began, and Britain listed all pro-fascist organizations as prohibited. The new stage of decolonization and eventual collapse of the British Empire had served as a breeding ground for the far-right movements who took over the baton. It resulted in skyrocketing immigration in the 1950s from the former colonies, mostly from India, Pakistan, Uganda, and the Caribbean. It only left for the former metropole to admit the overwhelming flow (still stable) of representatives of various ethnicities and beliefs from the periphery who brought with them their own social and cultural background.

Eventually, the far-right groups focused on the fight against immigrants flooding the country and for maintaining the traditional British lifestyle. This focus remains relevant up till now. However, it is shifting from the external to the internal aspects of British society. Recently those factors have been supplemented by the evolving discussions on membership in the European Union. They reached their height on June 21, 2016, the day of the Brexit referendum.

British political correctness of the modern days prefers to cast the sensitive issue of neo-Nazi organization activity in the country aside. Meanwhile, the far-right that are prone to identify themselves as "genuine conservatives" continue to stand up for the unity of Great Britain as a successor of the empire in every way: the unity of territory, culture, and race. The British citizens tired of migrants flooding the country find these ideas rather appealing.

The British far-right and nationalist organizations are mainly fringes in their nature. They focus on the activity on the Internet and high-profile public campaigns in such major cities as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, and Belfast.

The British National Party (BNP) established in 1982 remained the most prominent far-right organization until recently. It opposes mass migration to the country and berates the emergence of "federal super-state in Europe," that is the European Union. For a long time, the BNP has been advocating for preserving the values of the white British family, and closing the borders for migrants and sending back those who had already sneaked into the country. Its supporters have often promoted anti-Semitism ideas and claimed that the Holocaust was a historical hoax.

The BNP aims to unite the far-right world-wide and particularly in Europe. During the 2009 European Parliament election, the BNP won two seats that is perceived as its best political success so far. The BNP continues to claim leadership among British nationalists. However, the intra-party discord resulted in the decrease of its officially registered members from 13,500 in 2009 to 500 in 2019 (the BNP representatives argue that the number of its supporters amounted to 3,000 in early 2019).

Britain First formed in 2011 by former members of the BNP is yet another British neo-Nazi organization that is worth noticing. It strongly opposes the shifting of the United Kingdom towards Islam and mass migration to the country. Its supporters declare that their primary goal is to protect traditional British lifestyle, ethnic and cultural heritage and Christianity. The party advocates the speedy Brexit for the purpose of "saving the society from the politically correct multicultural madness prevailing in Europe." The Party structure includes a battle action force called the Party "Defence Force."

This organization attracted attention in 2014 with its provocative acts against Muslims in London, Glasgow, and Luton (attacks on mosques, forcing of leaflets with anti-Muslim propaganda upon the unsuspecting audience, carrying out protest actions close to the residences of the local community leaders). On top of that, Christian patrols of up to 12 activists were put together in London to counter Islamic extremism (the clergy of both the Muslim community and the Church of England accused their actions)[208].

In 2016, the organization was accused of being involved in the murder of Jo Cox, member of the House of Commons in the British Parliament. The perpetrator of the crime, Thomas Mair, 52, a former patient of a psychiatric hospital allegedly shouted "Britain First" during the meeting[209]. The far-right group issued an official statement where denied its involvement in the crime.[210]

On September 20, 2017, the Kent police arrested the leaders of the organization Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen after being found guilty of religiously-aggravated harassment. According to law enforcement, they disseminated the assaulting photos and video footage in Canterbury and Thanet. November 7, 2017, Mr. Golding was sentenced to a 120-day suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work.[211]

On November 19, 2017, London police arrested Ms. Fransen over employing nationalist statements while addressing activists of a Northern Ireland organization in August 2017[212]. December 2017, Mr. Golding was taken into custody in Belfast for similar actions[213].

March 7, 2018, the court found Mr. Golding and Ms. Fransen guilty of actions inciting racial hatred and sentenced them to imprisonment for 18 and 36 weeks respectively[214].

Lately, the English Defence League rapidly gains its political authority. It has emerged spontaneously in the form of a social movement following a counter-demonstration held in March 2009 against an Islamic group "al-Muhajireen" that had protested as the British military personnel paraded through Luton on its return from Afghanistan[215].

This informal, mostly youth movement openly opposes the country "Islamisation." Among its major activities are marches and parades, public protests against the construction of new mosques and other features of Islam cultures imposed on the British.

On March 15, 2019, Wellington (Shropshire) authorities suspended a national march against the Islamisation of the country scheduled by the English Defence League on March 16, 2019 (with expected participation of around 50 activists) out of respect for those murdered in the terrorist attack in New Zealand on March 15, 2019 and their families.

Mid-December 2018, six people were sentenced to imprisonment for a term from 5.5 to 6.5 years for participation in the activities of National Action, far-right organization proscribed in the United Kingdom, and on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks[216]. In December 2016, under the Terrorism Act 2000, this organization was listed as a proscribed terrorist organization. In 2015-2017, the youth wing of the organization conducted several marches in Liverpool (involving up to 100 people) that allegedly featured the participation of representatives of other far-right groups (English Defence League, Britain First) and football fans from Poland.[217]

September 2017, the West Midlands police arrested four members of the British Armed Forces on suspicion of involvement in the National Action activities and plotting of terrorist attacks. Moreover, according to law enforcement, the supporters of this group could have been involved in the murder of Jo Cox, member of the House of Commons.[218]

In April-May 2015, several protests outside the US embassy were held by the UK branch of the pan-European neo-Nazi organization Misanthropic Division that acted in support of Gary Yarbrough, an active member of the US neo-Nazi organization The Order.[219]

Each year on September 23, 1993, the United Kingdom hosts a concert to commemorate Ian Stuart Donaldson, the founder of the neo-Nazi group Blood and Honour (died in a car crash). The 2008 concert in Redhill (Somerset) was widely covered by the BBC, radio and print media. The 2013 concert dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Donaldson death turned out to be the most massive event among the similar events in the UK for the last 15-20 years (according to estimates, it was attended by 1000-1200 neo-Nazis from all over Europe).[220]

The United Kingdom is a State Party to the 1995 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (ratified in 1998). The London officials proclaim "respect for the rights of ethnic minorities residing in the country", state that "efforts on combating discrimination, promoting ethnic culture and identity are taken on a regular basis", by all means support "nationally provided guarantees of their rights and freedoms, including access to education and media, protection of languages of minorities and their participation in the public life".

Against this backdrop, the report on violation of ethnic minorities rights that reveals a gloomy state of affairs in combating racial discrimination and was published on August 18, 2016, by the Equality and Human Rights Commission attracted much attention in the UK.[221]

This document called by the experts as "the biggest ever review into race equality in the country," notes that representatives of ethnic minorities (particularly, black people) are three times more likely to be victims of crime than the white British. Unemployment rates for ethnic minorities amount to 12.9% that is two times higher than the average rate across the country. The report notes discrimination in employment: black workers with degrees earn over 23% less on average. Moreover, just 6% of school leavers from Africa or the Caribbean attend any of 24 leading universities of the UK (this rate amounts to 12% for white school leavers, and 11% for the Chinese community). On top of that, the ethnic minorities face discrimination at the stage of recruitment to judicial and law enforcement authorities. Altogether, the document concludes that over the last five years life for representatives of ethnic communities on many fronts has got worse.

The Chair of the Commission Mr. Isaac stated that the "report underlines just how entrenched race inequality and unfairness still is in" the UK. According to him, "so far, the Government's economic plan since 2010 has not" managed to prevent "cutting some communities even further adrift from equality of opportunity." He notes that ethnic minorities "can often still feel like they are living in a different world, never mind being part of a one nation society."

The official statistics further support this gloomy picture. According to the UK Home Office data published on October 16, 2018, the rate of hate crimes has spiked for 2017-2018. For the reporting period, there were 94,098 hate crime offenses recorded (an increase of 17% compared with 2016-2017 with 80,393 offenses). Most of them (71,251, or 76%) are race hate crimes (an increase of 123% compared with 2012-2013).[222]

According to the data published by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in autumn 2017, 81% of their offers were sent to applicants from the top social classes of the country (compared to 79% in 2012). Moreover, 48% of students in these universities are the residents of the capital (16% come from the North, 12% – from the Midlands, 2.5% – from Wales). About 40% of students in the UK universities of highest standing are graduates from the top private schools that provide education to at most 7% of the British children.[223]

By contrast, the statistics show that the share of students from ethnic minorities in Oxbridge amounts to about 16% and less than 1% of their offers go to Pakistani applicants.

British authorities do make statements about how crucial it is to toughen up the fight against racial profiling in the juvenile judiciary, and yet the situation keeps deteriorating. Statistics for the February 2019 indicate that black individuals aged 15 to 21 years old committed to the institutions for young offenders made up 51% of the total juvenile prison population (in 2017 this figure stood at 40%). The experts cite an array of possible reasons that drove these numbers up: local authorities, police, and mental health services are underfunded; residential property is more frequently seized from the black households, etc[224]. Children of immigrants from the Caribbean countries are 3.5 times more likely to be shortlisted for getting kicked out of state schools than any other students.

Starting from 1999 the British police has sought to employ more people from the ethnic minorities so that the racial composition of the law enforcement would be a better match for the served demographics. However, the experts maintain that this effort drudges along ever so sluggishly, which draws criticism from the very same law enforcement officers that are supposed to spearhead them. For instance, according to Sara Thornton, Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council (coordinates the law enforcement efforts in Britain), over the course of 20 years "not a single police force in England and Wales (out of 43) has achieved the established targets – in the best case scenario we are bound to see some progress here by 2052 at the earliest"[225].

The UK legislation does not blacklist the far-right organizations. The operation of these movements can only be officially discontinued if they are listed as terrorist organizations under the Terrorism Act 2000[226] or listed as a proscribed terrorist organization.[227] In December 2016, for the first time since the Second World War, the far-right organization National Action was listed as a terrorist organization over incitement to race war and glorification of terrorism. September 2017, Scottish Dawn and National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action were also listed as proscribed terrorist organizations since it was found out that they are just alternative names of the already banned National Action.

According to the Terrorism Act 2000, an organization is concerned in terrorism if the UK authorities believe it is involved in terrorism, that means "commits or participates in acts of terrorism, prepares for terrorism, promotes or encourages terrorism (including the unlawful glorification of terrorism), or is otherwise concerned in terrorism." As soon as an organization is listed as a proscribed one a person commits offense if he belongs thereto (professes to belong thereto), supports such organization (invites support for it), or displays its marks (including clothes) and is liable to imprisonment for a term from 6 months to ten years and/or a fine.

The UK combats racial discrimination and xenophobia on the basis of the Public Order Act 1986.[228] This Act prohibits incitement to racial hatred and punishes (with imprisonment for a term from six months to 7 years and/or a fine) intentional stirring up of racial hatred, distribution of racially charged materials, delivery of racially inflammatory speeches, developing of racially charged websites and dissemination of information regarding an individual or an ethnic group with a view to incite racial hatred.

Moreover, the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006[229] introduces offenses "involving stirring up hatred against persons on racial and religious grounds" into the legal framework. This piece of legislation is peculiar since it defines offenses that involve stirring up hatred on religious grounds (punishable by imprisonment for a term up to 7 years and/or a fine) into the UK legislation for the first time ever. Its provisions are applicable if words, behavior, written materials, recordings of visual images or sounds or programs are threatening and intend to stir up religious hatred. In certain circumstances, this law deems religiously charged discrimination in employment as an offense.

The 2010 Equality Act is yet another piece of legislation aimed at combating discrimination[230]The Act prohibits harassment, victimization and any discrimination in employment performed on the basis of the following characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

 

 

 

 




LATEST EVENTS

24.08.2019 - Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko relinquished his duties and departed to Russia

24 August 2019 Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Mr Alexander Yakovenko relinquished his duties and departed to Russia. Mr Ivan Volodin, Minister-Counsellor, will act as Chargé d'Affaires a.i.


16.08.2019 - Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the course of investigation into Salisbury and Amesbury incidents

Question: How would you comment on the official statement of the Met Police claiming that one more police officer was affected by a nerve agent in March 2018 in Salisbury? Answer: Contents of the Met Police official press release of 15 August only raises further questions. It is unclear why such vital information has not been disclosed for almost a year and a half since the incident itself.


16.08.2019 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s speech at the Terra Scientia National Educational Youth Forum, Solnechnogorsk, August 15, 2019

Thank you for the warm greetings. This is not my first meeting with Terra Scientia students, but it is the first time in this picturesque place. This is more convenient for those from Moscow because it’s closer. In any event, all our previous meetings were fairly useful. We are fueled by the interest of our society in foreign policy and international affairs, and are always ready to use our knowledge, experience and practical actions to meet this interest on behalf of our citizens. It is particularly important when young people are interested in foreign policy issues. After all, you will shape Russia’s future and its future place in international life.


12.08.2019 - Statement by Chargé d'Affaires of the Russian Federation Dmitry Polyanskiy at the UN Security Council meeting on Libya

It is with deep regret that we have been receiving news from Libya about a terrorist attack in Benghazi that, reportedly, has taken lives of two officers of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). We express our sincere condolences to the United Nations, to the families and friends of those who perished. We strongly condemn this and other terrorist attacks that kill the people of Libya. Besides, I cannot fail to mention that over the recent two-three weeks several hundred of migrants drowned in the Mediterranean on their way to Europe from Libya and other countries after the boats transporting them had capsized. These are only the latest disasters that happened to Libyans and Africans who had become desperate and given up any hope to live stable and peaceful lives. During the minute of silence that you called, Mm. President, our thoughts were with them as well. Because every human life matters.


09.08.2019 - Press-Conference by Chargé d'Affaires of the Russian Federation Dmitry Polyanskiy "Russia’s Collective Security Concept for the Persian Gulf Region"

he first section will be about our security concept for the Gulf area which is the bulk of what I was going to say and then at the end I will also make a couple of points on today’s consultations on Georgia. If you have any questions I would also be very pleased to answer them. We decided to make the special presentation of our security concept for the Gulf area because we think it is really important for ensuring security in this strategically important area of the world. You know how difficult the situation is now, so this concept was distributed as an official document of Security Council. Now my colleague has also shared a printed version with you. If you need to have it on your email, do not hesitate to tell us. We will send you the electronic version.


08.08.2019 - Embassy comment on the UN Security Council meeting on Syria

The Western initiative to convene the UN Security Council meeting on Syria is deeply disappointing. There are many speculations based on unverified and biased information about the situation in Syria aimed at escalating tensions and distorting the true events in order to undermine any political settlement in this country.


07.08.2019 - Embassy’s Press Officer reply to a question on the measures to secure Outer Space free from weapons

Question: Russia is promoting an initiative on “No first placement weapons in Outer Space”. Could you explain the reasons for adhering to this political commitment? Press Secretary: While the Outer Space Treaty (1967) prohibits the deployment of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in Outer Space, the Treaty does not explicitly cover either conventional arms or new weapon technologies. As a result, there is a legal gap with regard to a possible placement of weapons other than WMDs in Outer Space. In 2008 Russia and China introduced at the Conference on Disarmament a draft Treaty on Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space and of the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects (PPWT). Subsequently, in 2014 Russia and China submitted an updated version of the PPWT draft reflecting considerations of interested states, thus giving an additional impulse to further work on the draft. However, no progress has been made due to CD failure to agree on its program of work.


06.08.2019 - Embassy comment on the statement by Mr Roger Gale, head of UK delegation at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly

Once again, UK side called upon the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly to reconsider the decision to restore Russia’s rights. We would like to remind official London that Russia’s participation at the Parliamentary Assembly is an irrevocable right of any national delegation that effectively represents the rights and interests of its nation. It is also the necessary requirement for establishing international cooperation and balance in interstate relations in order to support political dialogue in Europe and develop the parliamentary traditions.


04.08.2019 - Embassy press officer’s reply to a media question concerning reports in the British media about recent arrests of illegal rallies participants by Russian police in Moscow

Question: How would you comment on the publications in the British media about the excessive use of force by the Russian police during the rallies in Moscow held on August 3, 2019? Answer: We have seen taken note of recent reports in the British media condemning the actions of the Russian police during the rallies in the Moscow city center in support of unregistered candidates to the Moscow Duma elections. First of all we would like to note that the numerous illegal protests which took place on August 3 in Moscow had nothing to do with democracy or freedom of expression. It becomes clear that the goals of protesters were anything but ensuring their voters rights. Many of the protesters do not even have an idea who the so-called opposition candidates actually were. It also looks absurd that people not living in Moscow are fighting for the political rights of Muscovites. Furthermore the persons wanted in connection with the extremism propaganda as well as 150 young people who had long been evading military service were found among the participants of the illegal rallies. It also proven that foreign citizens participated in the Saturday rallies, for provocation purposes only.


03.08.2019 - Embassy press officer’s reply to a media question concerning the decision of US President D. Trump to impose new sanctions on Russia in relation to poisoning Russian nationals Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury

Question: How would you comment on the intention of the United States to impose the second set of sanctions on Russia in relation to so-called poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury? Answer: First of all we would like to emphasize that the UK deny to present the results of the official investigation in Salisbury. The Russian side is fully committed to seeking and establishing the truth about the incident and could barely rest satisfied with the widely distributed leaks in the media coming from so-called official sources.



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